Let’s Not Be L-7

Fixed in the grid
with angles squarely set;
locked, as it were,
in the matrix:
newspaper columned.
Let us not be thus;
cubistic in crystal,
vibratory in place—
separate from the music
that circles away.
with the wheels that turn.

Upstanding quadrilateral,
marching up and down
in unison:
trapped by right angles.
Feel the Brownian bubbles ferment.
Release the ornamental
of the perfumed bosom;
loosen the tie and
pack away the mortarboard
that clips the wing-beat.

Outside of place settings
and floor-space,
the compassed garden
escapes acreage–
the arc of planets
encircles the endless sky,
one vertex sticks out of the mud.

Ample Cover

There are stars that never rise or fall
offering ample cover from the trickster
gamboling the rushes with a tambourine,
the percussive cymbals in three degrees.
The dimple deepens with the curling smirk
for the dying kings swallowed by darkness,
black holes patient for every random star,
tangerine sunsets after the harvest.
Ouroboros shrinks into quarks abuzz
regardless of amber snapshots of gist
and the painted minstrel marks the folly
of the crouching predator in plain view.

Basic Training

Formaldehyde on fatigues
green on this bald-headed league
– full of vigor, shorn like sheep –
that sweeps the dorm and soon sleeps.

Only to be awakened
by reveille earaching
the tortured troops to withstand
more demands:  crazy commands.

Marching to classes in file,
tramping down the urge to smile,
but can’t check the teary dusk—
the eve brusque, full of male musk.

My pate scratches like boar hide.
Will this snowflake get outside
unmarred by rusty wing nuts
with jackboot strut and crew cuts?

Lost Letters:

W. S. Boxx
8428 Canterbury Court
Estcourt Station, Maine 04741

November 3, 2017

Dearest friend,

The erasure of cursive from the pedagogic strategies of core curriculum signals a loss in the culture, a fork towards the information age.  Art, in the form of elaborate, thoughtful letters such as those of John and Abigail fossilize before us into petroglyphs like trilobites from the Cambrian explosion.  Extant messages know not the dipped quill from the inkwell, the measured meditations scribed on parchment under the flicker of candlelight, for now, electrons snuff out the tapers of yesteryears and speed instant thought from geocentric orbits as light skips along the aether.  Does it matter, dear friend, in a world where change is the only constant, the uncertainty of quantum mechanics creeping into every facet of foundation, maybe ?

The loops and swirls repeated ad nauseum on ruled newsprint paper until the death of the hand in cramping paralysis, regarded at the time as pointless exercise, have indeed been deemed just so, a waste of the scholastic time allotted, time better purposed by grounding the student in education geared for the cog-less machinery of the digital future, so:  keyboarding.  The solid earth on which one tottled forward on in insouciant surety proves to be riddled with limestone caverns and shifts underfoot.  Has my brief time been wasted in groundwork unfounded ?  The binary code sweeps away such expertise as quaint calligraphic messaging and multiplicative grid rote into the ash-heap of the obsolete.

Unfailingly yours,

Walter S. Boxx

P. S.  The frames of the flipbook shuffle by so quickly that my eyes water from the ruffled air.


A Singular Fish

The ball. The death.
A shibboleth: Here we go round the mulberry bush
so early in the morning
A customary fall, a sheep asleep:
a pull to the deep—safety in numbers

Subtracted mass
of the turning baitball, the teamwork of predators:
dolphin, tuna, sailfish and shark;
gannets, cormorants, terns and gulls:
death from the sky and death from the sea.

edge of measure,
amorphous: dwindling like incandescent kindling;
the scarlet ribbon courses:
tragic drama of pelagic
runs, an attrition of sardines or herring.

A singular fish
dives perpendicular to the piscatorial
emergence against predation:
a divergence from the rest
(reticular loss of lives), primordial.

the expected
text: be dexterous, quick, jump over the candlestick.
The hollow of the rocky nook
swallows the gifted swimmer:
A hammerlock school overtook—you rock fish—

Just Like What a Cloud Would Do


That’s just like what a cloud would do:
to feather into marshmallow
and popcorn with butter highlights;
to coast on thermals and billow
into shapes large, larger, largest;
into a beast hurling lightning
drawing the four winds into storm,
these changeable clouds so fickle.